What We Love This Week, Volume V

Chinese Architecture 1

Source: Design Boom

Vincent Callebaut’s Stunning ‘Eco-Vision’ In China

Chinese Architecture 2

Source: Design Boom

Talk about a return to nature. Confronted by the environmental implications of mass Chinese urbanization and soaring rates of consumption, Belgium-based architect Vincent Callebaut has crafted his own ‘green’ solution: Asian cairns. Callebaut dubs his cairns, which historically are residual neolithic markers that consist of several stacked stones, ‘farmscrapers’ as they will produce more energy than they will consume while remaining as aesthetically pleasing as the more traditional sky-kissing buildings. By injecting biodiversity, vertical food production, wind harnessing and solar power into each of these mixed-use buildings, Callebaut’s cairns will converge nature and infrastructure to form a visionary city-as-ecosystem; one whose blocks mimic forests and whose buildings mirror the efficiency of trees. To learn more, visit Design Boom.

Chinese Architecture 3

Source: Design Boom

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The World’s Coolest Libraries

As Kindles, Nooks, and other tablets flood the market, traditional bookstores and reading methods are on the decline. But after browsing this list of some of the world’s most beautiful, unique, and impressive libraries, you may be inspired to put the eBook reader down and make a trip to your own public library. From richly decorated baroque spaces to minimalist cubes, there’s something for everyone in the world’s coolest libraries:

The World’s Coolest Libraries: Vancouver Public Library

With more than two million items in its collection, Vancouver Public Library is the second largest public library in all of Canada. The library’s main branch, the Center Branch, covers an entire city block in downtown Vancouver, called the Library Square. The Center Branch is an incredible nine stories tall and is surrounded by free-standing walls that contain reading and studying rooms.

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Yemen’s Rustic Rock Palace

Rock Palace Yemen

While the palace’s neighbors consist primarily of buttes and sand, the building’s history is much larger than life. Built in 1786 and serving as residence to many imams, the palace’s last inhabitant was Imam Yahya, who used the sultry space as a summer home until his 1948 assassination. Not all bought into the sanctity of Rock Palace, though; upon Yahya’s death, governing bodies had plans to convert the edifice into a luxury hotel featuring a rooftop casino.

Florida’s Bizarre Dome Homes

Florida's Bizarre Dome Homes

Source: Marco News

Built in Naples in 1981, the futuristic igloos seen above may not be around much longer. Falling into disrepair, one dome home owner seeking to restore the vintage vestibule has encountered nothing but exorbitant fines and bureaucratic hassles in the process.

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